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MOOC 2022 - An Introduction to Sociolinguistics: Accents, Attitudes and Identity

Posted on 27 June 2022

Launching the fourth edition of the department’s highly popular online learning course in sociolinguistics

On Monday 4th July 2022, the Department of Language and Linguistic Science will launch the fourth facilitated run of the free-to-access massive open online course (MOOC) An Introduction to Sociolinguistics: Accents, Attitudes and Identity on the platform FutureLearn. This follows on from the success of its previous runs in 2019-2021. Last year, the course had amassed over 1,300 learners within 2 months of the facilitation window starting.

The MOOC focuses on sociolinguistic research into accent variation and language attitudes, covering topics including regional accent variation, sociolinguistic methods for investigating language attitudes, and accent bias in the workplace, courtroom and classroom. The course draws upon sociolinguistic research both within and outside the department, including recent research projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council: The Use and Utility of Localised Speech Forms in Determining Identity and Accent Bias Britain.

The facilitators on the MOOC this year are LLS staff Dr Claire Childs, Dr Dominic Watt and Dr Beth Cole, and PhD student Sarah Lapacz. For four weeks after 4th July, the facilitators will be on hand to respond to users’ questions and comments to make the learning experience more interactive. If you sign up before or after this facilitation window, however, you can still take the MOOC as a self-directed course.

To sign up for six weeks’ free access, please see: MOOC sign up portal

“I’m delighted to be working on the MOOC again this year as one of the course facilitators. It’s always fascinating to be able to discuss language variation with such a wide range of people from around the world!” - Dr Claire Childs, Dept. Language and Linguistic Science, University of York

I'm really looking forward to being a facilitator again for this summer's run of the MOOC. For me, the coming month is a high point of the academic year. It's great to share insights into how language works, and how it's used, with people who are completely new to linguistics as well as with participants who already have experience of the systematic study of language. We have a fun four weeks ahead of us!” - Dr Dominic Watt, Dept. Language and Linguistic Science, University of York

Developing the MOOC was funded by the York Impact Accelerator Fund in 2018-19 and 2019-20:

‘Re-framing linguistic research to enhance practice in secondary education: Focus on language attitudes’ (2018-19); PI: Dr Sam Hellmuth; Co-Is: Dr Claire Childs and Prof. Carmen Llamas; MOOC Research Assistant: Dr Sarah Kelly.

‘Re-framing linguistic research to enhance secondary education: Consolidation’ (2019-20); PI: Claire Childs; Co-Is: Dr Sam Hellmuth and Prof. Carmen Llamas; MOOC Research Assistants: Sarah Lapacz and Vicki Noble.